A teenager who has been left struggling to stand up after being hospitalised with a Covid-related blood clot is warning young people to take the virus seriously.
Maisy Evans, 17, from Newport, spent the last week in the Grange Hospital in Cwmbran after doctors discovered a blood clot on her lung after she caught the virus.
Doctors initially thought Maisy was suffering from meningitis, however after becoming seriously unwell and struggling to breathe, a CT scan revealed a small clot on her right lung which doctors have said is Covid-related.
The former member of the Welsh Youth Parliament is now urging young people to take the virus seriously and accept the vaccine if offered.
Maisy said she received her first dose of the vaccine on August 11 2021, something she had been "waiting for since the roll-out began."
However, after initially believing she was suffering side-effects of the vaccine, Maisy developed a cough and took a coronavirus test which returned a positive result.
"For my 10 days in isolation, I was really poorly. I was constantly tired and in pain. My GP said it was something to wait out, so that’s what I did. I waited it out until one night, I couldn’t sleep due to the pain in the back of my head and neck. Early in the morning on Wednesday the 25th, my mum called NHS direct for advice.
"A first responder arrived within half an hour, performed some routine checks and was unhappy with her findings. My temperature was high, heart rate high, blood pressure high and I was clearly in a lot of pain, unable to lift my head. Whilst I had no visible rash, the first responders feared the worst - meningitis. They began the treatment for meningitis because after all, we’d be better safe, than sorry."
After a chest X-ray, Maisy said a radiologist described her lungs as “COVID-y” as they were inflamed, causing pain and appeared to show complications. After further scans a small blood clot was discovered.
"I am lucky. My clot is not too large; it will clear," she said.
"I’ve probably had every possible symptom. I’ve had the cough, the high temperature, the shakes, the sickness, the dizziness, the shortness of breath, the excruciating headaches, the body aches. You name a symptom - it’s hit me. I even lost my sense of smell and taste. The breathlessness was one of the last symptoms to develop.
"As the cough began to clear, the damage to my lungs became more obvious. I can’t stand up without getting out of breath and the smallest tasks feel like the most difficult things in the world."
Maisy, who is still in the Grange hospital, spent several days on constant oxygen support because her body was unable to regulate its own oxygen saturation levels.
"It still hurts to breathe, despite the steroids and the morphine, and small tasks knock me back for hours. I’ve been told by the respiratory consultant that the breathlessness will not go away overnight; it’s likely I will be short of breath for months to come."
Maisy is now urging people - especially young people - to take the virus seriously and take the vaccine.
"Young people must not underestimate the impact Covid-19 could have on them. I have no underlying health conditions and generally, I am fit and well. Yet here I am, laying in a hospital bed with a blood clot in my lung.
"Young people are among those who are (so far) unvaccinated, so it’s important for those who are offered the vaccine in the next few weeks to take it.
"My double-vaccinated mum caught COVID-19 from me before I was admitted to hospital and thankfully, felt mild symptoms only. I know we all thank the vaccine for that."